We Can Do More With Your Support

Colchester Museums Development Foundation supports Colchester Museums to inspire and enrich our local community, through the preservation, exploration, and sharing of the city’s heritage in its widest sense.

Your support can help us to achieve CMDF’s objectives to:
  • Increase Colchester Museums’ capacity to offer accessible events and programmes.
  • Provide new opportunities for engaging with Colchester Museums’ collections and research.
  • Support and inform new initiatives across Colchester Museums that involve and reflect the diverse members of our community.
  • Expand Colchester Museums’ reach and impact through collaboration with community groups and businesses.

Ways To Support


Our goal is to keep our wonderful venues accessible to everyone. Funds raised through the Colchester Museums Development Foundation go directly towards furthering our education programmes, exhibitions, research and acquisitions.

Become a Guardian

Our Guardian Members help us to protect, share, and preserve Colchester’s heritage. Enjoy a range of benefits, including free entry to the Castle, invitations to VIP preview events, discounts in the Museums’ shops, and Museum Money vouchers for After Hours bookings and events. 

A small, plump lemming with a dense coat of brown and beige fur is perched atop a flat, mossy stone. The lemming's fur appears soft and fluffy, with a subtle gradient of colour that provides natural camouflage. Its sharp, dark eyes and a small, rounded nose give it a curious expression. The whiskers protrude delicately from its snout, adding to its sensory perception. The stone itself is mottled with shades of brown and green, indicating a natural habitat. The background is pure white, bringing the focus to the lemming and the stone it rests upon.

Adopt An Object

Choose from twenty of our most fascinating and well-loved objects, which you can symbolically adopt or gift to the history enthusiast in your life! Your support will help us to protect millions of years of local and global history.

Leave a Gift in Your Will

Help us to continue preserving and protecting Colchester’s history and inform the future of our work for generations to come. Leaving a gift in your Will is an amazing way to ensure that your support for Colchester Museums continues into the future.

Corporate Partners

Support the exploration and preservation of Colchester’s heritage as a corporate partner. We offer tailored packages of benefits for corporate partners, whether your priorities are corporate social responsibility, hospitality, or branding.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the Colchester Museums Development Foundation Newsletter, and we will send quarterly updates about all the good work that Colchester Museums are doing thanks to the support of our donors and Members.

The Trustees

Sophie Weaver (Chair)


Sophie worked at Colchester Museums for a number of years before going freelance as an access consultant, where she has continued her access work in the cultural sector, working with many of the national museums. She also has become a podcaster and events host, whilst continuing to champion equal access for all. 


Glyn Barritt


Glyn spent many years in higher and secondary education, directing programmes to support the effective use of teaching and learning technologies. Her role brought her into regular contact with education leaders, teachers and students, the DfE and sponsors from every corner of society.  She is now enjoying opportunities to learn more about Colchester’s rich history and through the CMDF, is keen to explore ways of bringing that history to life and to promote the important role Colchester has played in the nation’s heritage. (@glynbarritt)


Philip Berners


Philip is lecturer and course leader for the events management degree programmes at the Edge Hotel School, University of Essex, Colchester campus and has a career organising high-profile events in the UK and Europe. He wants to bring his events expertise to the CMDF because he lives and works in Colchester and has ties with the city going back to 1980, so “it is about time I gave something back!” 


Ilaria Boncori


Ilaria is a Professor in Organization Behaviour and Human Resources Management at the University of Essex. As a CMDF Trustee, she draws from her networks and research expertise on various aspects in relation to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to champion the Museums. Ilaria is passionate about memory, artefacts and communities.


Mark Cheeseman OBE


Mark  is a Senior Civil Servant in the Cabinet Office, overseeing the government’s Counter Fraud and Grants Management Functions. He has undertaken various counter fraud, operations management and project management roles throughout his Civil Service career. Having studied Archaeology in University and undertaken a Masters in Roman Archaeology, he is enthusiastic for our history and heritage and continues to take an active interest in both preserving it for future generations and making it widely accessible.  


Denise Fiennes


An arts professional, and psychotherapist, Denise has been involved with music, dance, heritage and education for over 40 years as a consultant, board member or Vice Chairman, including English National Ballet and Friends of the Ipswich Museums. She is Vice Chairman of the Friends of the Ipswich Museums and a psychotherapist with an online practice and works with Teenage Mental Health in Ipswich. 


Frank Hargrave


Frank is Colchester + Ipswich Museums Manager. As his PhD focussed on the Later Iron Age, Colchester’s incredible archaeology from the period holds a special significance to him. For Frank, the CMDF offers an opportunity to both help protect some of the heritage of the city and to provide better access to it for new audiences.   


Dave Hedges


Dave is the Head of Conservation and Estate Management at English Heritage TrustHe has written the charity’s first ever nature strategy and leads the team who care for Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall as well as places more local to Colchester like St John’s Abbey Gate and St Botolphs ChurchDave believes Colchester and the surrounding area have a rich heritage and is excited to help the museums share what makes the area so special and also encourage visitors to go out and discover what more the City has to offer. 


Fern Lovett


Fern has a degree in animal science and conservation and a keen interest in natural history. She spends her spare time as an amateur fossil hunter and runs an animal and wildlife project. Fern works locally as a Youth Worker at The OutHouse and has a keen interest in allowing young people to experience museums and supporting  LGBTQ+ youth.


Andrew Lynn


Andrew has worked in the charity sector for over 20 years, recently at UNICEF UK, specialising in data and its use in fundraising. He has always loved museums and as a CMDF Trustee wants to help make Colchester Museums more inclusive, improving the museums with exciting developments.


Stephanie Rickard


Stephanie is a Professor at the London School of Economics. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of politics and international economics. In addition to academic research, Stephanie also contributes to government policy discussions, comments on events in the global economy for various media outlets, and volunteers in the non-profit sector, most recently as Chair of the Board of the International Organization Foundation. She has a long-standing interest in early history, particularly prehistory and ancient history, and is committed to working to preserve and share Colchester’s rich heritage. 


Nick Wickenden


Nick recently retired from Chelmsford Museum as its archaeologist and manager, dealing with a variety of heritage projects. He moved to Colchester in 1986 and is Chair of Colchester Archaeological Trust. He would now like to use this experience for the benefit of Colchester Museums.  


In memory of Lawrence Walker


The Colchester Museums Development Foundation was one of a number of charities and organisations in Colchester that benefited from his wisdom, knowledge, good humour and generosity of spirit. He holds a particularly special place in our thoughts due to his vital role as one of the founding trustees of the CMDF. 

He will be greatly missed. 

The Trustees of the Colchester Museums Development Foundation



Colchester Castle

A visit to Colchester Castle is better than ever before with interactive displays and star exhibits, like the Colchester Gladiator Vase and Fenwick Hoard of Roman treasure. 

Hollytrees Museum

Enjoy 300 years of history in this beautiful Georgian townhouse through hands-on exhibits and displays. Discover what family life was life for the rich and the poor.

Natural History Museum

Get up close to nature and find out more about wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change at this family-friendly museum. 

Where will your adventure start?